If You Aren’t Flossing, You Are Missing Out

Flossing is an integral part of every oral health care routine. It only needs to be performed once a day, but this simple act can help fight against gum disease, gum recession, tooth loss, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and respiratory illnesses. Those factors alone should be enough to convince you that flossing your teeth on a daily basis is crucial! You can floss in the morning or at night, whichever time you find more convenient and makes it possible to stick to a routine that you will not avoid.

Flossing Saves Teeth and Lives

Even if you brush your teeth regularly for two minutes at a time, twice a day, you could be missing a large part of the bacteria and plaque that reside in between your teeth. It is impossible for your toothbrush to get in between those tight spaces, which is why flossing is essential. When that plaque and bacteria are left to build up, they begin to infect your gums, which causes gingivitis or advanced stages of gum disease. If your gums get to the advanced stage, you are at risk for tooth loss, heart disease, and other illnesses as the infection passes from your mouth into your bloodstream.

Save Money by Flossing

Believe it or not, flossing on a regular basis can even save you money! Patients that do not floss have to have more invasive dental procedures performed, such as scaling and root planing to get beneath the gum line to remove plaque and bacteria or even procedures, such as root canals or dental implants, depending on the severity of the infection and its detrimental results. Rather than putting your pocketbook and mouth through these procedures, you can put an end to the risk by flossing regularly. The ADA recommends that you floss before you brush your teeth so that any debris, plaque or bacteria that you remove from in between your teeth is removed from your mouth completely from brushing your teeth.

Flossing is one step in the oral hygiene process that should not be avoided! Find a time that it works best for you and stick to it!

Do you Brush your Tongue?

If you are not brushing your tongue, you could be leaving thousands of germs in your mouth that can be wrecking your oral health. Even if you are efficient with brushing and flossing your teeth, removing all debris, bacteria, and plaque, leaving bacteria on your tongue can cause problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even physical illnesses! Your tongue is a gateway to the rest of your body, which means that you can put your body in danger if the wrong bacteria are left to reside on your tongue. As an added benefit, brushing or scraping your tongue can make it possible to fight bad breath, which is impossible to eliminate if germs still reside in your mouth.

How to Brush Your Tongue

Brushing your tongue is a very simple process. You can use either your toothbrush that you use to brush your teeth or a tongue scraper, if brushing your tongue makes you gag a little. The tongue scraper is a flat tool that effectively scrapes the germs off of your tongue. The key is the technique that you use and that you are consistent about brushing your tongue rather than the tool used to do it.

It is important that you brush from back to front to avoid pushing the bacteria to the back of your mouth where it will cause more damage. Starting at the back of your mouth, scrape your tongue in a forward motion in order to remove the bacteria from your mouth. It is best to work from one side to the other and to work in straight lines so that you ensure that you hit every spot on your tongue. Once you are finished scraping your tongue, make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth either with an ADA approved mouthwash or with warm water. Rinsing and spitting out the liquid will ensure that any remaining germs that are now loosened are removed from your mouth.

After scraping or brushing your tongue, you are left with fresh breath and a germ free mouth, giving you the best of both worlds – optimal oral health and fresh smelling breath.

Watch out for the Risks of Gum Disease in your Senior Years

Gum disease is one of the main causes for senior tooth loss, but it does not have to be that way. Gum disease can be prevented if you handle your oral health care appropriately. Even if you have lost some of your flexibility and cannot reach the far areas of your mouth or you lose the ability to remember when the last time was that you brushed your teeth, there are ways to get help so that you ensure the health of your mouth for the rest of your life. Gum disease does become more common during a person’s senior year, but for reasons that can be prevented.

The Issues as you Age

Aging comes with a variety of changes, including the needs for medications to manage illnesses, hormone changes, and a change in abilities. Gum disease can occur as a result of each of these changes for the following reasons:

  • If your medication causes a change in the production of saliva, your mouth harbors more bacteria, which puts your gums at greater risk for disease
  • If your hormones begin to change, especially for menopausal women, your gums become more susceptible to disease due to the change in blood flow to the gums
  • If your diet changes as a result of changing taste buds, inability to prepare and cook foods as before, or simply out of poor choices, gum disease can be a risk.

As you age, keeping your regular check-up and cleaning appointments every six months is the best way to ensure that you do not suffer from gum disease or if you do that it is caught in its earliest stage. Gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease, is reversible, while periodontitis, the advanced stage, is not. You can get help with proper cleanings, advice on how to manage your diet, and ways to make your oral hygiene easier in order to put the risks of gum disease and subsequent tooth loss behind you just by keeping up with your regular dental appointments as you age.

Tooth Whitening or Dental Veneers: What’s Better?

If you have a discolored, slightly crooked, or otherwise unsightly smile that makes you hide in embarrassment, there are simple ways to fix it without forcing you to endure months of procedures and pain. Today, dental technology has made it possible to create a beautiful smile without a lot of hard work, making it easy for everyone to get the smile that they deserve. The two most popular options are tooth whitening and dental veneers. Both procedures are a successful way to fix a smile, allowing you to gain your self-confidence back once again.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening is one of the least invasive and easiest ways to love your smile again. If you have discolored teeth due to aging, hormones, medications that you take, or lifestyle habits, professional tooth whitening can help to bring the white back to your smile. This procedure is done right in the office and simply requires the use of a whitening gel that is applied to your teeth after your cheeks, lips and gums are protected from the gel. After the gel is applied, a special light is used to activate the whitening, scrubbing away the stains that are on your enamel.

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are typically the next step if tooth whitening does not work. If your stains are intrinsic, meaning that they are on the interior component of your teeth, rather than the exterior, whitening will not help. Dental veneers can though, because they are sheets of porcelain that are shaped to match the shape of your teeth, which are placed directly over the enamel of your teeth that are discolored, misshapen, or chipped. The procedure is non-invasive and simply requires that a small portion of your enamel is removed in order to ensure that the veneers fit appropriately, allowing you to open and close your mouth with ease.

Tooth whitening and dental veneers are both effective ways of perfecting your smile. They are non-invasive and yet provide incredible results, allowing you to talk and smile without embarrassment. They can make a huge change in anyone’s life!